This survey will take place on over 70 rocky reefs along the California coastline. Nineteen of these sites are located in the Santa Barbara region and are conducted by dedicated Santa Barbara volunteers, which includes a diverse range of ocean patrons such as recreational divers, commercial urchin fishermen, lifeguards and college students from the Scientific Diving class at UCSB.
RCCA has received support from Associated Students Coastal Fund for the last several years. These funds support Reef Check training programs, boats for training and surveys, and a paid UCSB student intern. This intern works with RCCA staff to help organize training programs and surveys, data management and outreach in the Santa Barbara region.
This student intern gains considerable experience in working with a non-profit organization, learns about ecosystem monitoring and will receive valuable work experience that may generate a passion for marine conservation.
RCCA’s educational and research aspects provide UCSB students with a solid foundation from which to conduct their own scientific research as either a student or a professional. Dana Murray, a longtime Reef Check volunteer and former volunteer coordinator, says that the “internship was a great experience and gave me the chance to work with a local non-profit and participate in underwater research, all while training and leading volunteers on a citizen science project.”
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Gregor Hodgson, the Reef Check strives to educate the public about the value of reef ecosystems and the current crisis affecting marine life; to create a global network of volunteer teams trained in the scientific methods necessary to regularly monitor and report on reef health; to facilitate collaboration that produces ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions; and to stimulate local community action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide.
Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect, and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, Coastal Fund has granted $1.68 million to over 400 local projects and programs.
For more information on projects and funding opportunities visit http://coastalfund.as.ucsb.edu/index.php.